Motherhood and the Acceptance of Mothers in the Military
Being a mother in the military has always had controversy. Some believe that mothers should refrain from this violence and stay in civilian life to raise her child, while others believe that it’s a woman’s right to choose this career. Kara Dixon Vuic’s article “ “I’m afraid we’re going to have to just change our ways”: Marriage, Motherhood, and Pregnancy in the Army Nurse Corps during the Vietnam War” examines female nurses in the Army Nurse Corps during the Vietnam war who helped pave the way for wives and mothers to be more integrated into the Army. In comparison, Michelle L. Kelley’s (et al.) article “Navy Mothers Experiencing and ...view middle of the document...
Looking at her tone, we can see that Vuic paints a positive picture on the willingness of the Army Nurse Corps to take the initial steps towards equality in the military. Unfortunately, her research was supported by the U.S. Army Center of Military History. Since the research was funded by this institution, it is hard to know what Vuic’s personal stand on the matter is.
In her introduction, Vuic’s thesis was that the army struggled to incorporate the acceptance of motherhood and marriage in their policies. Overall, she did provide an in-depth study of the changes to motherhood and marriage policies in the military; but she forgot to include how it was a struggle. Throughout, she claims that the Army realized their policies “inhibited recruitment,” and because they needed nurses, they would simply broaden [their] policies. Broken down in two subheadings, she looks at many groups of women who wanted to be wives or mothers became integrated into the Army; but demonstrate how it was a struggle. Rather, her article claims the Army was willing and easily changed their policies; but, that is not surprising considering the paper was funded by the Army.
In “Navy Mothers Experiencing and Not Experiencing Deployment,” Michelle L Kelley and her team of psychologists interviewed 71 navy mothers with young children, before and after a planned deployment. In this article, Kelley looks at the multiple reasons that would influence a navy mother to choose to either stay or leave the navy. The team concludes the reasons for a navy mother to leave the navy and reason for why mothers would stay in the Navy. Broken down into clearly labelled subheadings so that the reader can follow her train of thought, Kelley looks at how these women were chosen, how they came to their answers and why these women answered sometimes changed. Kelley looks at a wide range of women, such as women from different ranks, nationalities, marital status and education. Kelley discovers a powerful conclusion. It is not the type of woman; rather it’s the women with a strong motherhood bond that were the women more likely to leave the army.
Michelle L Kelley is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston and has a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology. Her research focuses on parenting and the effects of deployment on Navy families. Thus, Kelley’s article also writes about a topic that is part of her field of expertise. Kelley’s main purpose for this study was to examine the effects of naval assignments on women and their families. Similar to Vuic, Kelley’s article and surveys were also supported by a military institution. The research was funded by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. This as well could have limited the range of results and could have altered Kelley’s stand on the matter.
Although the results from the survey are intriguing, the questions asked to the mothers were done in a way that Kelley would get the answers she wanted. For example,...